Manchester Mum Calls For Firework Ban

2 November 2012, 10:14

The mum of a schoolboy who suffered serious burns to his face when a firework exploded in Salford's calling for them to be banned.

Vicky Stephenson said her 11-year-old son Dale Scott was doing 'penny for a guy' with his mates when she got a call saying he had been hurt.

At the same time, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service crews were responding to call at a house nearby where another boy, aged 10, was suffering from firework-related injuries.

The two boys, who are friends, had been outside a shop with another boy, thought to be aged 14, and their Guy Fawkes when Vicky nipped into another shop.

The 43-year-old, who lives in Prestwich, said:
"Next thing I knew, Dale was ringing me on my mobile screaming saying a firework had exploded and he'd burnt his face. He was shouting 'firework, firework'.

I think what's happened is that when I went to the shop they've got this firework from somewhere and lit it.

Then the older lad has taken them both home and run off.

Vicky and Dale had been staying at her partner Jimmy's house in Oronsay Grove, Salford, so that Dale could be nearer to his school friends over the half-term.

GMFRS was called to Cumbrae Gardens, Salford, where the ten-year-old boy was, at around midday after reports that a firework had exploded in a child's face.

The firework involved is thought to have been an Onion Bomb - a highly explosive firework that is not legally on sale to the general public.

The boy was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital by ambulance.

Vicky drove Dale to hospital and he and the other boy were transferred to the children's burns unit at Manchester Royal Infirmary, suffering from serious burns to their faces and hands.

Vicky said:
"When I got back to my partner's house, Dale had a towel over his face and he was scorched, so I took him straight to hospital.

He was hysterical because he was burning and they put him on morphine when we got to the hospital. He's lost his hair, eyebrows and eyelashes and got burns on his hands, his skin is peeling off."

Now both mothers are calling for action to be taken against those who supply these highly dangerous fireworks.

The mother of the ten-year-old, who didn't want her or her son to be named, said:
"I just don't know how Onion Bombs and industrial fireworks can get into the wrong hands"

Vicky said:
"Fireworks should be banned. They need to stop coming into the country because they are just so dangerous.

I don't know why anyone would give something so dangerous to a 10 and 11-year-old.

Dale is fearless and he just does whatever his mates do - but I think this will definitely have made an impact on him.

It's half-term, he is supposed to be having fun. Now he's in hospital and he's lost all his hair - he could have lost his arm."

The teenage boy has been taken to Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool where he is being treated for burns injuries.

Area Manager Geoff Harris, Head of Protection at GMFRS, said:
"We are extremely interested in how this firework ended up in a street where children were able to play with it. We need to take action and prevent further fireworks from getting into the wrong hands. They are not on general sale for a very good reason and we do not want anybody else getting injured."

GMFRS is working closely with the police, local authorities and partner agencies throughout the Bonfire period as part of Treacle - a partnership which aims to prevent and tackle antisocial behaviour, criminal damage, incidents and injuries.

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